Category Archives: city events

Cambridge Elections

I’ve got a couple of reviews in the pipeline, but this is just a quick post to say that the Cambridge elections are tomorrow. This Cambridge City Council elections are this year, and if you live in Cambridge you’ve probably already been inundated with all the various pamphlets and flyers for the candidates. has a site that includes a Q&A with all the Cambridge City Council candidates as well as the School Committee candidates. Go vote!

Historical Cambridgeport

Ech. Still haven’t gotten caught up enough to get out and about, but one thing I’ve been meaning to post about is The Cambridge Historical Society’s “If This House Could Talk …” event that happened a couple of weeks ago. I noticed the signs around my neighborhood and read them with interest, but I only recently got around to looking up the website and reading more about the event and the group. The signs were posted in front of houses and each included historical information or an interesting anecdote, and the event was part of a larger “Cambridgeport History Project”. I’ve been meaning to find out more about the area, and although I didn’t have time to track down many of the signs while they were still up, luckily the text of the participating addresses (or at least most of them) has been archived on the group’s website. I’ve been particularly interested in the architecture of the area, which has an unusually eclectic range, and if it weren’t so creepy I would take and post pictures of some of the more interesting places. But instead you can read about some of the styles represented and go visit the houses yourself. The text includes a range of interesting information, including an explanation for the mural near the parking lot of the local Trader Joe’s, and rekindled my interest in some of the local public areas, such as Dana Park, Hastings Square, and Fort Washington Park.

Speaking of the latter, apparently as part of the CHS’s celebration, the Fort Washington Park was rededicated. The CHS has some pictures up here. The website also has a great map highlighting historic Cambridgeport.

While I’m on the subject, I thought I’d also mention the Cambridge Historical Commission’s Historic Marker Program. If you walk around Cambridge at all you’re bound to come across one of the blue oval markers posted to commemorate historic events and places. The site has a list of all the locations and their text. Uh-oh. Checklists tend to bring out my OCD side … Must … resist … … …

Free admission at MIT Museum tomorrow (Saturday)

Quick post that The MIT Museum is going to be free tomorrow 10 a.m.-6 p.m. as part of The Cambridge Science Festival, now in its 3rd year. I posted some comments on the permanent exhibits a while back, which includes a collection of Arthur Ganson’s totally rad kinetic sculptures. The bf hasn’t seen them yet, though, so I’m going to make an effort to squeeze in a quick visit amidst enjoying all the sunshine over the weekend.

The Science Festival has never really been on my radar, although it seems it’s not just focused on kids. Some of the activities seem like a bit of a stretch, though, e.g.:

    Carnival! Learn from the Microsoft experts how to keep your kids safe online!!
    Hands-on demonstrations help teach children how to spot dangerous risks online. A bonus for parents – see how to use technology at your fingertips to protect your kids!

Oh, whoops, it ended today at 4. Looks like I just missed it! Ha ha.

HONK! Festival in Boston

Last weekend I inadvertently ran into the HONK! Festival not once, but twice. The first occasion was in Davis Square on Saturday afternoon on my way to a friend’s place, and I was entertained by the raucous, mostly-brass-and-percussion music and colorful characters with their intentionally playful costumes but didn’t have time to stop and watch. Then on Sunday afternoon in my typical Sunday fashion I was headed out for lunch/brunch, in Harvard Square as it happens, and was met with the annual OktoberFest and the HONK! Festival, this time parading through the square, their route on both sides full of stalls of local vendors selling the usual knickknacks for women and a wide variety of hot ethnic food.

There are several things I’ve learned since then, once I was able to get my hands on an internet connection. One is that this is actually the third annual HONK! Festival, and also apparently “honking” is a fairly new trend. According to the HONK! Festival website:

    Across the country and around the world, a new type of street band is emerging …

    First and foremost, they honk their horns – or beat their drums, or wave their flags – to enliven and embolden their audience. Members vary widely in age, class, ethnicity and background, and although they often wear some kind of uniform, there is also always an emphasis on individuality and a “DIY” (do-it-yourself) sensibility to their instrumentation and attire. These bands play music that is by, for, and of “the people.” …

    Just as important, they honk their horns because it’s the best way they know to protest a world of violence and oppression.

At the parade the political side of the groups took a back seat to the music and the spectacle, but the whole concept is interesting, and apparently the groups present were from different parts of the country as well as other countries.

Here’s a bit more info:
– Harvard Square has its own website. Who knew? The info on Oktoberfest 2008 can be found here.
Boston Globe preview